- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 8, 2004

Excerpts of a sermon delivered yesterday at Mount Airy Bible Church by the Rev. H. Wallace Webster:

What is a beatitude? The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia says, “A beatitude is a statement of blessing.”

It originally meant “blessedness” or “happiness.” Beatitudes are blessings which are uttered to evoke, create or pronounce well-being, to extol or praise God for His providence, or to make someone or something holy.

Someone has described beatitudes as “be attitudes.” In other words, they are the attitudes that are to “be” in us.

We are to be poor in spirit — humble. We are to be meek. We are to be hungering and thirsting for God. We are to be merciful. These are attitudes that we are to have.

But, for our study, we are looking at the Beatitudes in the Revelation. There are seven Beatitudes, or statements of blessing, found in this book. There is something clearly different about these Beatitudes.

All the other beatitudes are truly a message about what we are to be. These Beatitudes are not just about what we are to be, but are Beatitudes that also clearly are statements about our Lord.

Revelation 1:3 says: Blessed are those seeking Him, for they will be fulfilled. The idea is all about our hearts’ desire. Do we really hunger for God, or do we not? But the importance of this Beatitude is not that we are to be reading and hearing and keeping simply for our benefit.

Far too many study the Scriptures to discover knowledge, truth or whatever. Our quest in our study of the Bible ought to be to discover Him — seek Him.

So, Scripture really calls us to this idea of seeking Him in the passages. He is and was and is to come.

John makes it clear: The reason we read, hear, is to see Him. This book is about our Savior — blessed are those who seek and find.

One day we will kneel before Him and worship Him who is worthy of all.

Revelation 16:15 says: Blessed are those watching for Him, for they will be ready to meet Him. It makes it very clear that He is coming back. As a matter of fact, that is a recurring theme all through the Bible.

“Behold He is coming” (Revelation 1:7); “I come quickly” (Revelation 2:160 [etc.].

He made it clear in John 14 that He was going to return.

What is our response to be? “Blessed is He who watches” (Revelation 16:15).

This idea of watch is scattered all through Scripture. It occurs 23 times in the New Testament with most of them pointing us to the fact that we need to be watching for Him.

Ever been to a parade and have been looking for the grand marshal? You can see almost everyone looking, straining, anticipating. Then the rumble through the crowd as the ones farther down the street see the grand marshal and all eyes are peeled on him. My dear friend, that is nothing as to what we are going to experience. And as you are watching, make sure you are ready.

Revelation 16:15 says that we are to keep ourselves ready — pure — and clothed for His return.

Blessed are those prepared for Him, for they will glorify Him (Revelation 19:9).

Revelation 20:6 says: Blessed are those resurrected with Him, for they will reign with Him.

Revelation 20:4 mentions the many who lost their lives because they would not compromise, regardless of the cost. They were beheaded for their witness. They would not receive the mark. They were willing to stand regardless of the cost. And the cost was great — it cost them their lives. But for their sacrifice, they were to rule and reign with Him.

But once again notice the emphasis in Revelation 20:6. They are going to rule and reign with Him. The resurrection is going to provide for them the opportunity to be with Him forever and rule by His side. And as much as ruling may by itself have its charm and thrill, the key is ruling and reigning with Him. As the Gospels ended, Jesus was left on a cross for the masses of humanity to see. One day they are going to see Him and He will be King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Revelation 22:7 says: Blessed are those who obey Him, for they shall worship Him.

There are two more Beatitudes awaiting. Revelation 22:7 promises a blessing to those who are keeping the words of the prophecy of this book. In other words, for those who are obedient. Not just living this life — but living this life out for Him.

Revelation 22:14 says that we are blessed by doing His commandments and not living like those in verse 15. Our living for Him is proof positive that we know Him. And our reward for doing so is being with Him forever.

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